By Sita Dell
To the Merchant A team of Bristol goes the honor of scoring the first goal against the Bethlehem champions in a National League game this season. The contest was played at Harrison, Pa., yesterday afternoon, the game ending a draw with one goal apiece. Only the sensational goal tending Harry Pearce enabled his team to register an even break against the champions and it was his [...]ing saves that prevented Bethlehem from racking up a much higher score.
The initial goal came to the Bristolites just twenty minutes after play, although up to this time the Merchant team were playing the more aggressive game. The counter came when Haray received a clever pass from Hemingsley on the 15 yard line and booted a fast low one to Duncan, who made an unsuccessful attempt to block the kick.
Five minutes later the Merchants team again threatened when awarded a corner. Burnett sent the ball into the middle of the goal net area, but Easton dashing in recovered the sphere and tore up the field, brining the ball to Merchants 15 yard line. Easton passed to McKelvey who tried for a placement but his boot went over the post.
From then on until the finish Bethlehem repeatedly bombarded the Merchants goal with little effect, Pearce rising to the occasion on every attempt, until well along in the second half.
Merchants won the toss and Bethlehem kicked off against the wind and sun and in the first minute the fast Merchants forwards were in the vicinity of Duncan but Wilson and Ferguson made good clearances and the Bethlehem left wing attacked but Todd was very sure in his tackling and Fleming did not get much opportunity to test Pearce. The ball kept traveling fast up and down the field, one goal and then the other undergoing exciting sessions. The attack on both teams appeared to be just a little slow for the defense. However, after twenty minutes play a nice combination movement by the entire Bristol forward line ended in hardy receiving a pass from Hemingsley and the former without any hesitation drove for goal. The ball traveled high and fast and landed in the far corner of the net with Duncan beaten all the way. It was a beautiful goal and well worked out. The Merchants were so elated at this success that the next ten minutes showed them to greater advantage than in any game this season and twice the Bethlehem goal had narrow escapes. At this stage the Steel Workers seemed to realize that something out of the ordinary was required to hold the dashing shipbuilders and the entire defense stiffened with the result that the Bethlehem forwards had an opportunity to once more appear in the limelight. Todd and Morrison were adept at intercepting the crosses from the wing and the Bethlehem inside men who were apparently too slow to outwit them with the result that many opportunities to test Pearce went aglimmering. With but five minute to go an unfortunate accident occurred when Miller and McKay attempted to head the ball at the same time with the result that both were seriously injured. Both men were laid out completely and had to be taken from the field to have their injuries dressed. Half time found the teams struggling hard in midfield.
At the restart Bethlehem had the sun and wind in its favor and it was easily seen that the elements had played an important part in the first stanza as the Merchant defense were included to miskick with the sun in their eyes as Bethlehem was in the first half. This advantage seemed to work more in Bethlehem's favor as only occasionally the shipbuilders were capable of breaking away. In fact several times during the second half, the two Bethlehem fullbacks were standing well beyond the center field line in their anxiety to help the forwards and Pearce, Todd and Morrison had the most interesting session of their lives. After twenty minutes play, Fleming received a nice pass from Fletcher and the alert Pearce had no chance with the shot that beat him, the ball hitting the inside of the post and bouncing into the net. This success seemed to take the desperation out of the Bethlehem efforts and their combination was more methodical. Time and again Pearce was called upon to save but the brilliant National League baseball player continually scooped the ball out of danger when the chances seemed ten to one that he was beaten. After thirty minutes of play the Bethlehem goal had a narrow escape on a nice raid by the right wing. Burnett looked like breaking through when Ferguson trapped the ball in brilliant fashion and left the right winger helpless. He then added to that by beating the two oncoming forwards with a coolness and deliberation that drew applause from the big crowed.
This efficiency on the part of the defense heartened the Steel Works forwards and they once more made tracks for Pearce and two corners in rapid succession looked dangerous but there was always some Merchant player in a position to make a clearance. With ten minutes to go, Miller returned to the game for Bethlehem and it looked as if at any time he would gain the leading point. Once more they reckoned without considering Pearce and try as they would they could not score. McKelvey missed the best opportunity of the day. Standing unmarked on the six yard line, he received a beautiful cross from Fleming and had no one to beat but Pearce. His anxiety to make a positive shot was his undoing and the ball got beyond him with the result that the Merchant defense closed in and Morrison kicked the ball out of play. With five minutes to go Merchants were so desperate on their defense, they kicked the ball entirely out of the field in three efforts to kill time. This occurred on three occasions. In the closing minutes Merchants made a last desperate effort to gain the leading goal but the Bethlehem half back line were playing in great form and with apparent ease checked all their efforts to initiate combination. The final whistle found the ball hopping around the Merchant goal. Score 1 to 1.
Bethlehem -- Merchant A
Duncan -- G -- Pearce
Wilson -- RFB -- Todd
Ferguson -- LFB -- Morrison
Pepper -- RHB -- Russell
Fletcher -- CHB -- McKay
Butler -- LHB -- Small
McKelvey -- OR -- Burnett
Forrest -- IR -- Maxwell
Easton -- CF -- Hardy
Millar -- IL -- Hemingsley
Fleming -- OL - -Coursey
Goals -- Hardy, Fleming. Referee -- George Young. Linesmen -- Campbell, Bethlehem; Gallagher, Merchants. Time -- 45 minute halves.